Marriage & Family

What to do when your toddler just won’t nap

a toddler refusing to nap Image Credits: theasianparent.com

Mums with babies, we feel you. Parenting is a consistent rush, and these kids grow up really fast!

In a blink of an eye, they start crawling, and before you know it, they are taking their first steps. As your little ones transit from their baby moments to toddlerhood, you might find that it’s not easy to put them down for a short sleep.

Here’s what to do when your toddler just won’t nap.

Adapt according to their physical needs

When your baby is a few months old, maybe you found it easier for them to sleep for two hours straight after their milk routine. As they grow a year old, their nap time might be reduced to an hour instead. If so, go with the flow and adapt according to their physical needs. Forcing a child to sleep more when they don’t want to can backfire and make them resist even more.

Stick to the same nap time
a toddler napping

Image Credits: ovuline.com

Humans are habitual creatures, and so is your toddler. Once you’ve adapted to your child’s physical needs and found a pattern for their sleep, stick to it.

While you don’t want to force a kid to take a nap, waiting till they are overly exhausted and start crying is not ideal. Remember, the more regular their sleep pattern is, the less they will resist since their bodies are used to the same daily schedule.

Create a peaceful environment

As adults, we are often told not to look at our phones, laptops, or watch television programmes right before bedtime. Similarly, your toddler needs to stay away from stimulating activities before they can calm their mind and body.

You can create that peaceful environment for them by allowing them to engage in relaxing activities. It could be playing soothing instrumental music in the background or reading them a bedtime story. Do this at least 10 minutes before their usual daytime nap period.

Make sure they stay in bed
crying-toddler-in-bed

Image Credits: healthline.com

Perhaps you’ve tried all the above, but your toddler just won’t nap. Worse still, they start wailing, and you begin panicking. If that happens, do not be too quick to remove them from their bed. Pat gently and comfort them using a reassuring voice.

What most parents fail to do is to make sure they stay in bed. The rationale behind not giving in is so that they understand that a nap is inevitable. When you start breaking the routine and bring them out of bed when they cry, you will have a hard time putting them down for a nap the next day and in the future.


As we come to a close, be well aware that there is no one correct parenting method since every child is unique in their ways. Try the abovementioned methods to see if they work and if they don’t, make tweaks accordingly! No one knows your child better than you do.

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